Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to feel sorry for yourself and be miserable? This is my confession. On Sunday I set off to make gorgeous ravioli. On Monday, I was going to write this post…except I couldn’t. I sat down to the computer to write, but everything seemed forced. I woke up Monday morning feeling defeated and finding faults in everything. I was not in a good place to write something cheery. Not even about food. But this is reality! Our lives aren’t always so cheery, are they? I realized something though–I am not going to find true joy in our next home, or in my next job, or even in the people I spend my time with. I can only find true joy in God and in His word, and the rest will come if I have true faith in Him.
So now, a few days later, I still don’t have it all together, but I want to write, and I want to share with you. Aside from my personal battles, we have had many celebrations this past week. Both of my parents had birthdays this week, and Nathaniel and I celebrated six months of marriage. We have so much to be thankful for!
Sunday night was my dad’s birthday, but we celebrated for both my mom and my dad. This very special occasion called for an extra special dinner. Again from the September issue of Food and Wine magazine featuring Italy, I made their recipe for uovo in raviolo–egg yolk in ravioli. Ravioli alone is a huge feat to take on, but adding an egg yolk to the inside? That’s crazy. Challenge accepted. For another take on uovo in raviolo and some extra tips, visit Bon Appetit to read their post from just a few hours ago!
Don’t let the egg yolk turn you off. It only adds aesthetic beauty and a rich, creamy layer to the dish. The filling was so incredible, combining Bulgarian Feta (which is actually easy to find in your normal grocery store), Parmesan, Ricotta, orange zest, and parsley. The orange zest adds amazing brightness and a slight sweetness to the salty cheeses. Just spread this combo on crackers and forget the ravioli! Just kidding, although you really could.This was my first experience with a pasta machine (courtesy of my wonderful mother-in-law). As you would expect, it looks easier on TV. It just takes practice…and also gracious helpers in the kitchen. The recipe says to dust generously with semolina after creating the dough sheets, but I found that I needed to dust with semolina as I ran the dough through. After a couple sheets ended up thin, scraggly, and with holes, I folded them in half, dusted with semolina, and ran them through the machine again. They were almost perfect! That was the key–letting the dough rest after working it through and using semolina as you go. Do not be afraid to just squish up the dough and start over again.
The sauce was simple and delicious. Grating the tomatoes gets a little tiring by the last tomato, but it is definitely worth it. The resulting texture is the perfect sauce. The only thing I changed to this whole recipe was the addition of a few extra garlic cloves to the sauce. It only called for one, and I thought that just wasn’t enough for four pounds of tomatoes. Your choice. If you haven’t heard this great tip for garlic, here it is: microplane your garlic instead of chopping it with a knife. It disappears and melts into whatever you’re making. And honestly, it’s just easier.
I made some ravioli with the egg yolk and some without. This was because my dough was not always wide enough to have enough dough around the yolk (see picture above where I am holding the egg yolk). I also need to invest in bigger ravioli cutters.
All in all, my ravioli making was a success. They all stayed sealed, so no water got in and no filling escaped. Then, the moment of truth. If this were MasterChef, we would go to a commercial after Gordon Ramsey says “Now what should I expect to find when I cut into this ravioli?” I would say, “the golden yolk should rush out, swirling into the lush, red sauce.” As he begins to cut, we go to commercial break!!! After the commercial, Chef Ramsey would take a bite and say something like “this is without a doubt [pause] the absolute [long pause] most incredible ravioli I have ever tasted. It’s brilliant!” *I would exhale and cry tears of joy* Yes, this is what actually goes through my head as I eat my food…is that normal?
So here is to many more birthdays and celebrations and any excuses to make yummy food.
And if you’re feeling down like I was, remember that we are not in control. God has the perfect plan for us, and He is always with us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.